Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Switzerland is Green, in More Ways Than One

Over 44 Swiss Francs for 2 bottles of Opti-Free Saline Solution. Um, come again? I didn't realize how expensive it was, because the last time I needed it I sent Paul out and he came home with a 2 pack. So, trying to be smart like my hubs, I set out to get another 2-pack. First of all, you can't buy contact solution in grocery stores, you have to go to the Apotheke (pharmacy). I entered, asked the lady "Sprechen Sie Englisch?" She said yes. I asked for contact solution. She pointed it out. I picked out a 2-pack, moseyed up to the counter, and waited for her to scan it. "44.50 Swiss Francs, please."

My jaw dropped. I swear, you can get the same thing for like, $11.99 in Giant. I told her that was astronomically expensive and her response "I know. We're in Switzerland - everything is expensive in Switzerland."

We are going to feel like ballers when we come home to the U.S. in August. That wallet's only $200? PICK IT UP! Those jeans are on sale for $99.97? Get three! The problem is that even though you're spending a ton of money on stuff here, it's really not that much better. I saw a simple Ralph Lauren skirt selling for 400 CHF. Come on now. Ralph Lauren is okay, but it's not like, amazing. I told the friend I was with who isn't American that Ralph Lauren isn't that expensive at home. Then I got super excited telling her that if she ever comes to the US with me, I would take her OUTLET SHOPPING. She's been to the US before, but you need a native to show you the Premium Philadelphia Outlets. :) Ohhh baby.

I've gotten my hair done here twice. The last time I got it cut and highlighted, for 264 CHF. It wasn't even a fancy place - not nearly as fancy as the one I went to at home. I told this to a friend from the Netherlands who was in the process of moving here, and she made sure to get hers done before she came. We joked around that it would literally be cheaper for her to get a flight home to the Netherlands to get her hair done, than to get it done here, because it only costs her 30 euro at home. C-r-a-z-y.

However, yes Switzerland is expensive, but I l.o.v.e. it. It's clean. It's safe. Everything works like it's supposed to. I may have seen one homeless person since I've been here. You really do get what you pay for. Everything that we love about it, we pay for, but it's worth it.

They're also way more conscious about protecting the environment, not only in Switzerland but in Europe in general. You can get fined if you are caught throwing something away that should be recycled.

But hey, when you look at this everyday -


View from Uetliberg





Zurich - Home Sweet Home

- you want to protect it.

When Paul was telling a family member about recycling over here, he said something along the lines of "If you think Al Gore is hardcore, everybody here is ten times worse." The thing is, that was before it became just a normal part of our life. Now the thought of throwing the toilet paper roll or toothpaste packaging into the garbage doesn't even cross our minds.

Yes, I will go out of my way to find recycling for my empty water bottle. No, that metal can lid doesn't go in the garbage! Silly goose...

Switzerland - you've turned two Republicans into some pretty rigid environmentalists.

Don't get offended, it's a joke. Say we're over at someone's house, and Paul has an empty beer bottle that he needs to throw away. Instead of just asking where the recycling is, he'll say "Do you recycle? Or are you Republican?" It's FUNNY. I swear.

Of course, that's back at home. You wouldn't ask someone if they recycle here.

You don't want to get deported, now, do you?


  1. HAHA! So funny and TRUE! For the contact lense solution you should try internet, or shopping in Germany. Now when the euro is so cheap, it would pay off to drive to DE and shop there.
    I have the same fight over every metallic lid & and cardboard packaging with my lovely Dieter. ANd he is Swiss. Now I understand what's the problem: he's Republican and I am becoming Swiss.

  2. Confession from a native Swiss: When P. was away for some weeks, I didn’t recycle a single piece. – It felt so good. Uncle Sam, pls take me home to the US of A!